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5 Relationship Secrets from Jesus

5 Relationship Secrets from Jesus
Choosing a small group study can be a challenge. I've been leading groups for far too many years to count, and let's face it, a good study can make or break a group. Great content generates good discussions. And that's what every group desires. And it's what brings us back to fellowship with others. Authenticity, honesty, humility, confidentiality, and knowing we have made a commitment to personal and spiritual growth.
A few months ago I read the book Love Like That - 5 Relationship Secrets of Jesus by Dr. Les Parrot. A very simple book, but with five chapters so well written about changing the way we interact with people. I introduced it to my small group and the principles ran so deep, we decided to spend two weeks on each chapter. The book even comes with personal assessments! Ugh. Evaluating my strengths and weaknesses in each of these areas was a vulnerable experience.
Here is a brief description of each chapter - thought provoking and a challenging reminder of how we respond to people. May we become better at each of these.
1.  Being Mindful
  • Jesus “saw” what others did not, and when he “saw,” he was almost always moved with compassion. Our agenda is often more important than what is directly in front of us. May we learn to relax the tension around the agenda to make room for the subtle and intuitive promptings of God’s Spirit.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed
by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2

2.  Approachable
  • Jesus was shockingly accessible to anyone who felt undesirable or unwanted – lepers, Gentiles, tax collectors, the poor and persecuted, pagans and sinners. We aren’t called to size a person up or to determine if they are deserving. We are called to be approachable, not exclusive.
 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,
and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45
3.  Grace-Full
  • Jesus did not identify people with their sin. He saw sin as something alien, that really did not belong, something from which he would free them from and bring them back to their real self.  Helmut Thielicke
  • Our nature seeks fairness and justice. Not mercy and grace. Instead, we are to convey an authentic sense of warmth and respect for people regardless of what they are saying or what they’ve done.
 4.  Boldness
  • Jesus always demonstrated authenticity. We, however, have a fear of being rejected. For Jesus, the proof of spiritual maturity is not external. It’s on the inside. Authenticity is all about being rather than doing. When we risk rejection and get real, we begin to love more like Jesus. Amen!
5.  Self-Giving
  • Jesus' act of washing the disciples' feet was a significant life lesson. Self-giving love can feel upside down, and is given out of care, compassion, and kindness. Self-giving love does not demand, or require a huge sacrifice. Small things, done with great love, mean everything.
 Our greatest fulfillment lies in giving ourselves to others. Henri J. M. Nouwen

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly and sisterly love.
Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:9
My biggest takeaway? Grace. And that sin is something only Jesus can free us from to bring us back to who we were meant to be.
Lord, use us as your instruments of Restoration.

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